Halle Berry backs bill to protect children from paparazzi
HALLE Berry is set to testify in favour of a bill that would protect the children of celebrities from the paparazzi.
The Oscar-winning actress wants to change the definition of harassment to include the "actual or attempted recording of the child's image or voice" without the written consent of a legal guardian, according to the LA Times.
The bill, authored by Kevin de León of the California State Senate, mentions paparazzi shots captured by "following the child's activities" or "lying in wait".
A first conviction would see offenders jailed for between ten days and a year, while a second offence would merit jail time of between 30 days and a year in addition to a fine of $10,000.
Berry, who has a 5-year-old daughter and is expecting a child with her fiance Oliver Martinez, clashed with the paparazzi at LAX Airport in April.
"Get away from the child, Jesus, what is wrong with you people… that's a child here," she shouted as photographers swarmed her family.
Halle Berry said that her daughter Nahla doesn't understand why photographers follow her around and once feared they were trying to kill her.
She told the Assembly Committee on Public Safety: "My daughter doesn't want to go to school because she knows 'the men' are watching for her.
"They jump out of the bushes and from behind cars and who knows where else, besieging these children just to get a photo."
Halle said she was speaking in favour of the anti-harassment bill as a "mother of a daughter and the baby boy in my belly."
She added: "If it passes, the quality of my life and my children's lives will be dramatically changed."
According to the Washington Post newspaper, Halle also said her daughter, whose father is Canadian model Gabriel Aubry, was afraid paparazzi were going to kill them after the actress was forced to break up a fight between Olivier and a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport after they returned from a holiday in Hawaii in April.
She explained: "They were trying to start a fight with my fiance because if they get a photo of that it's more money. She (Nahla) asked 'Mommy, are they going to kill us?'
"She didn't get to sleep until 3 a.m. because she can't get this out of her mind and she doesn't understand what just happened to her."
The X-Men star is not the only actress to have voiced her disgust with the paparazzi.
"Man of Steel star Amy Adams told The Hollywood Reporter: "I am going to get in an altercation with the paparazzi. It's going to happen.
"They keep focusing on my child."
Anne Hathaway said that she and her husband were debating where to raise their future children in a bid to avoid invasive photographers.
But Jim Ewert, general counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, is opposed to the ban.
He said: "It's what journalists do. They take pictures."